Dave Fortin at WPBN/WTOM-TV (L) and later at MI News 26 (R).

Veteran northern Michigan reporter/anchor Dave Fortin has passed away.  Fortin died July 21 at age 81. Fortin was on the television screen for over five decades.  His career started at WPBN/WTOM-TV (Traverse City) in 1963 as a news anchor, reporter and sometimes a meteorologist.  During his time at the station, he was known for always helping mentor younger staff and giving direction on the best way to tell a story for viewers.  In a story on UpNorthLive, the station wrote that one of his favorite memories he would share was about how he handled breaking news when everything was shot on film. He talked about the urgency while also having to splice together film for the story.

Later in his career he worked for MI News 26 (WMNN-LD) in Cadillac.  There he traveled across the area getting the big stories, exclusive interviews and making a name as the broadcaster to trust.  MI News 26 notes that some of his favorite stories to cover were about crop yields and Northern Michigan’s numerous festivals. He was also best known for his annual ‘Santa Watch’ segments, where he would track Ol’ St. Nick across the sky.

Fortin is survived by his wife, Joan.

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